The Tigers announced that they’ve claimed right-hander David McKay off waivers from the Mariners and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo. The move fills Detroit’s 40-man roster.
McKay, 24, made his big league debut with Seattle earlier this season, tossing seven innings out of the bullpen. He was tagged for four runs on five hits and eight walks with five strikeouts in that time, continuing to display the control problems that began to plague him upon reaching Triple-A this season.
McKay logged 43 2/3 innings with Seattle’s Tacoma affiliate but struggled to a 5.15 ERA with 31 walks and 10 hit batsmen in that time. While that’s obviously an ugly line, McKay also racked up an eye-popping 71 strikeouts in that time (14.63 K/9). Control wasn’t an alarming issue for him prior to this season, and he punched out 85 hitters in 59 1/3 innings a season ago when topping out in Double-A, so the Tigers will try their hand at sorting out his location issues. McKay averaged 93 mph on his fastball in his brief big league time this season and drew a plus grade on his slider in MLB.com’s scouting report on him. He lacks a third average pitch, though, making him a rather clear-cut bullpen prospect.